[Page 341]

[Translation] 4. THE PARROT.

1 IN painted plumes superbly drest,
2 A native of the gorgeous east,
3 By many a billow tost;
4 Poll gains at length the British shore,
5 Part of the captain's precious store,
6 A present to his toast.
[Page 342]
7 Belinda's maids are soon preferr'd
8 To teach him now and then a word,
9 As Poll can master it;
10 But 'tis her own important charge
11 To qualify him more at large,
12 And make him quite a wit.
13 Sweet Poll! his doating mistress cries,
14 Sweet Poll! the mimic bird replies,
15 And calls aloud for sack,
16 She next instructs him in the kiss,
17 'Tis now a little one like Miss,
18 And now a hearty smack.
19 At first he aims at what he hears
20 And listening close with both his ears,
21 Just catches at the sound;
22 But soon articulates aloud,
23 Much to th' amusement of the crowd
24 And stuns the neighbours round.
[Page 344]
25 A querulous old woman's voice
26 His humorous talent next employs,
27 He scolds and gives the lie;
28 And now he sings, and now is sick,
29 Here Sally, Susan, come, come quick,
30 Poor Poll is like to die.
31 Belinda and her bird! 'tis rare
32 To meet with such a well-match'd pair,
33 The language and the tone,
34 Each character in every part
35 Sustain'd with so much grace and art,
36 And both in unison.
37 When children first begin to spell
38 And stammer out a syllable,
39 We think them tedious creatures;
40 But difficulties soon abate,
41 When birds are to be taught to prate,
42 And women are the teachers.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): [Translation] 4. THE PARROT.
Author: Vincent Bourne; William Cowper (translator)
Themes: animals
Genres: translation; satire

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Source edition

Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Poems: by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. London: printed for J. Johnson, 1782, pp. 341-344. [4],367,[1]p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T14895; OTA K027775.000) (Page images digitized by the University of California Libraries.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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